Beloved by millions, the 1939 film “Gone with the Wind” won commercial and critical acclaim surpassing even its source material. The American Film Institute has ranked it one of the greatest American movies. Adjusted for inflation, it remains the highest-grossing film ever made, at more than $3 billion. Perennially popular, this movie, with its vividly romantic portrayal of the love between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, provides an ideal theme for a wedding.
Finding a Venue
“Gone with the Wind” is largely set in Atlanta, Georgia, at the O’Hara family plantation, Tara. A “Gone with the Wind”-inspired wedding may take place at an old plantation home, a mansion, a hotel or some other large building steeped in a “Southern Gothic” atmosphere. For example, the Georgian Terrace in Atlanta is a century-old hotel that hosts wedding ceremonies in its soaring ballroom. It also hosted a party for the entire “Gone with the Wind” cast prior to its release in 1938.
Suits and Dresses
Brides-to-be can dress as Scarlett in a vintage ball gown complete with corset and ornamental embroidery, like the vibrantly colored, shoulder-less dresses worn by Vivien Leigh in the movie. Grooms can evoke Rhett Butler by wearing a black frock coat and dark pants offset by a crisply ironed white shirt. Or, wear a shining white suit like the suit Rhett wore as he and Scarlett rode through the streets of crumbling Atlanta.
Prominently display one of the classic “Gone with the Wind” film posters on the wall of the reception area. Set oil lamps at the center of each table and hang them from the ceiling. Cover the tables with blue linen. Decorate the walls with large, gilt-frame oil paintings, and arrange vases filled with flowers of varying colors. For a final touch, suspend a large, bejeweled chandelier from the ceiling in the center of the room.
Food, Drinks and Music
In the spirit of the lavish meals served at the Twelve Oaks plantation in the opening scenes of the movie, give guests an old-fashioned Southern reception. Serve “classic” Southern foods like chicken, pecan pie and potatoes. Serve deviled eggs and sausage balls for hors d’oeuvres. Make tea and mint juleps for refreshments. Find or create a playlist of songs from the Civil War era. Play classic orchestral music or hire a band to play old-fashioned waltzes like the kind played in the “auction” scene in Atlanta early in the movie.